Paris, 12 June 2014
On 17 July 2012, ARCEP adopted a decision that introduced reforms to the pricing methods applied to calls to short and special numbers - corresponding to what are referred to as value-added services (VAS) which allow users to access weather forecasts and distance sales services, for instance, as well as government services.
These reforms resulted in:
- the adoption of a pricing model referred to as "C+S" which includes two components: the price of the call ("C") which is to be the same as the price of a call to a fixed line number, and the price of the service delivered by the provider ("S");
- making calls to VAS numbers which are currently free when calling from a fixed line, also free when calling from a mobile number.
After difficulties arose in the commercial negotiations between call origination operators (1) and call recipient operators (2) over changes to their VAS interconnection agreements, in March 2014 ARCEP published a series of recommendations aimed at resolving these difficulties. In accordance with their commitments, call origination operators then sent call recipient operators their initial proposals in May 2014. Once this first step had been taken, call recipient operators were able to enter into the necessary negotiations with service providers, to amend the terms of their contracts.
To enable service providers and call recipient operators to conclude their commercial discussions with sufficient clarity, ARCEP has granted the sector's request to postpone the application of this reform by nine months. As a result, the new pricing structure, which was initially due to come into force on 1 January 2015, will instead come into force by 1 October 2015.
ARCEP will work to ensure that this deadline is met, through the creation of a bi-monthly monitoring committee.
(1) In other words the operator that supplies the VAS provider with the telephone service it employs to establish contact with its customers.
(2) In other words the operator that supplies customers with the telephone service they use to reach the VAS provider.